The KIA Sleeping Bags
By Mike White

One afternoon, during Operation Lam Son 719, chief of smoke SFC. Herrera and I were asked if we would go to a new location to find a spot where the guns could be set up. We found a truck going that way and got on. Going down the two track, SFC. Herrera asked the men aboard the truck "What's it like up there ?" The driver said "We are getting incoming once in awhile." I said to myself "What else is new ?" As we were getting closer to the area, I heard a lot of loud noises. Well guess what ! We drove into incoming. SFC. Herrera told me to jump in a hole and cover my ass! I did not know where he was. I looked around me and all I could see were projos. Yes I was in an ammo pit. The shelling stopped, and men were walking around. I got out of the safe hole and found SFC. Herrera. We started looking around for a place to sleep and store our gear. We started asking if they had any shelter and someone said dig your own hole ! Well I was too tired and chief of smoke Herrera said we will sleep on the ground for the night. We found some chow, or should I say, some cans to eat out of. It was getting late, and smoke asked me "Are you ready to call it a day." I said "Sure." We had our sleeping bags on the ground smoked our last cigarette, and went to sleep. The next morning we ate something--you know! -- that canned stuff. That afternoon we started getting incoming again. I said to myself "I don't like this place." A Battery started arriving in the area, and Smoke put them where the guns could be set up. Later on in the day, SFC. Herrera came up to me and said "Let's get our gear and join the battery's new area." I said "OK!" We walked toward our sleeping bags, and all we found were FEATHERS ! I looked at SFG. {smoke} Herrera, and said "The next time you need a volunteer, ask someone else !"

NOTE: Some may wonder why we were using down sleeping bags in Vietnam. We should remember that it did get chilly at times near the DMZ -- and after all that was Army issue!